The religious and spiritual dimensions of cutting down and stopping cocaine use: A qualitative exploration among African Americans in the south

Ann M. Cheney, Geoffrey M. Curran, Brenda M. Booth, Steve D. Sullivan, Katharine E. Stewart, Tyrone F. Borders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study qualitatively examines the religious and spiritual dimensions of cutting down and stopping cocaine use among African Americans in rural and urban areas of Arkansas. The analyses compare and contrast the narrative data of 28 current cocaine users living in communities where the Black church plays a fundamental role in the social and cultural lives of many African Americans, highlighting the ways that participants used religious symbols, idiomatic expression, and Biblical scriptures to interpret and make sense of their substance-use experiences. Participants drew on diverse religious and spiritual beliefs and practices, including participation in organized religion, reliance on a personal relationship with God, and God's will to cut down and stop cocaine use. Our findings suggest that culturally sensitive interventions addressing the influence of religion and spirituality in substance use are needed to reduce cocaine use and promote recovery in this at-risk, minority population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-113
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Volume44
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by grant RO1 DA026837 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to Dr. Tyrone Borders.

Keywords

  • African American
  • Cocaine use
  • Religion
  • Rural/urban
  • Southern United States
  • Spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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